PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Nearly a month to the day after their daughter's death the family of 17-year-old Markaylah Jackson gathered at the Northeast Philadelphia intersection where she died last month. They are still looking for the driver who killed the high school senior just 2 days before graduation.
"She was a friend. She was a sister. She was a granddaughter," said her mother Rashida Jackson Williams.
Jackson's family says her death was an accident waiting to happen. The oldest of 4 siblings was walking home from her job at Marshall's on about 11:30 on June 13th. Police say as she got a green light and "pedestrian walk" light to cross Adams Avenue at Roosevelt Boulevard, the oncoming traffic had the same green light. She was struck and killed by an older model Chevy or Nissan minivan. The driver never stopped.
"My heart is broke. My soul is broke. My whole family's soul is broke," says her father Kalif Williams.
Since the hit and run, a PennDot source tells Fox 29 immediate changes are coming to the intersection and more could be on the way. The city Streets Department will soon be installing new crosswalk and pedestrian warning signs at the intersection. And a month long traffic study will determine whether turn arrows need to be added or traffic lights need retiming. The family says they hope saving lives at this intersection will become their daughters legacy.
"She was going to be a nurse. She had help in her heart. She was going to go to college and become a nurse because she wanted to help people. That's the kind of person she was," says her mother.
The family has hired an attorney who is also investigating the design and timing of the traffic lights as what he calls a deadly and dangerous intersection.
"Markaylah was doing everything she was supposed to do. She was not jaywalking in the middle of the block. She was not walking against the red light but rather walking whiting the marked crosswalk," said attorney Robert Nix.
The family is begging anyone who saw the minivan that would have front end damage to come forward.
"We just need closure in our family. We understand that it was an accident, we do. We know it was an accident. But you made a conscious decision to keep going," said Jackson Williams.
If anyone has any information on the hit and run that happened on June 13, please call Philadelphia Police.